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Vanessa Ausbie

It seems like everywhere we look these days something else is taking our attention. We have been battling a pandemic for quite some time and it shows no signs of going anywhere any time soon.

Political events are happening and earthquakes and persecutions are taking place in other countries. We also deal with our own personal stuff — unruly children, rocky marriages, divorce, health issues and death. This alone is enough to rock us to our core. And when it does, what next? When we’re gripped with fear, anxiety and panic, where do we turn?

God knew the trials we would go through and the sorrows that would be in the world. After all, He has the bird's eye view. We only see day to day, minute by minute. We panic and are fearful but when Jesus left this earth, He left us something He knew we would need — His peace. 

I have personally felt all of this. In the past, and more recently, my heart has been so heavy and nearly grieved with all that has been going on in the world. Sometimes I find myself so consumed, I get caught up in the whirlwind of it all and I literally don’t know where to turn. Have you ever seen someone going through it? Their world, from the outside looking in, is completely crumbling. We would expect or assume that person would be crumbling as well. Instead they are shining bright, joyful, and still finding a way to encourage those around them. That is a peace only the Lord can give. That is standing in the middle of a storm and not being shaken. That is a knowledge that, because God reigns, there is hope. That is knowing even though my doctor’s report comes back negative, God is the great Physician and He has the final say. God has overcome all of that. He has overcome the world!

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” -John 16:33 (NLT)

What a sweet reminder! That when we go through trials or see that we live in a broken world, we have the peace of God accessible to us. 

We are not alone in our struggles and sorrows; God is with us. He told us that in Deuteronomy 31:8. “He will be with us, never leaving us nor abandoning us.” That verse alone is enough to make me stay in peace. The good news is that peace is available to us all. When we accept Jesus to come into our lives, the Holy Spirit is deposited into us, and with the Spirit, comes peace. It's a matter of whether I am going to let this situation take me out or I am going to stay in perfect peace. 

There is, and will always be, brokenness around us but I pray you rest in the peace of God. There is a song by Hillsong Young and Free called “Peace” and my favorite verse in the whole song says, “My anxiety bows in the presence of Jesus, the keeper of Peace.” Remember that. The fear, worry, anxiety and uneasiness we feel in the middle of the storm and all that goes on in our lives bows in the presence of Jesus. Bring Jesus into your situations and stay in perfect peace. 

Vanessa Ausbie is on staff at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at vanessa@kchanford.com or at 559-582-1528.

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